As we all know finding somewhere to enjoy shooting is fast becoming impossible. Landowners and farmers have become very wary of anyone wanting to use their land for air rifle shooting, mainly because they dont know if the shooter can be trusted. Once you have gained permission to shoot from a farmer or landowner, you should do everything you can to maintain good relations between yourself and the landowner/farmer/gamekeeper. It would also be beneficial for you to contact your local police station, speak to their Wildlife Officer and introcduce yourself, explain who you are and what you intend to shoot and where. It will also help the police identify you if you are reported for being on the land.
I have only recently become aware of the existance of the Wildlife Officers, through one of our local farms who were experiencing problems with poachers. As a result of this, DVS have started to build foundations that should hopefully help put an end to the more negative aspects of air rifle shooting, i.e. poaching and trespassers. Whilst we are pursuing our sport we are a very effective part of a large team, we are extra eyes and ears for the farmer/landowner and know instantly if there is something different on the land we are on. Whilst it is habit for us to inform the farmer that we are on his land for the purpose of pest control, any passing member of the public does not have that information
It is best practice to ring your local Police Station and inform them what times you will be shooting between, where you will be shooting, how many people will be in your group and what vehicles you will be using. They will then give you an incident number which you should retain, that incident number will relate to a specific date. Each time you go out shooting a new incident number should be obtained. If our presence is reported to the police then the Wildlife Officer has prior knowledge of who has permission to be there and therefore saving time checking things out
Working together with the police, we can help stop illegal activity in our countryside, as the only way we will beat the poachers, illegal corses, deer hunters etc. is by working as one big team rather than individuals restricted by boundary hedges. The police are more than keen to catch the people committing these offences, but are restricted by numbers and will gladly accept any assistance they can get from people who use the countryside.
Our local Derbyshire Wildlife Officer; PC 2315 Adam Galley, is holding a meeting on Monday 7th December at 17.00. The meeting will be held at The Horse and Groom public house, Scarcliffe, Chesterfield, and all interested parties are invited to attend.
Lastly, if you do happen to see anything suspicious call your local police station , Derbyshire's none emergency number is 0345 123 3333, Nottinghamshire's is 01159 670999, South Yorkshire's is 01142 202020 and report your sightings to them. If however you feel you need an immediate response from the Police please call 999.